May 17-18, 2001

 

ITEM:    111-2803-R501     Authorization to create an institute for researching and

teaching future trends and events related to rural factors in programs at Montana State University – Northern (North American Rural Futures Institute); Montana State University-Northern

 

THAT:                                    The Board of Regents of The Montana University System authorizes Montana State University – Northern to proceed with development and formation of The North American Rural Futures Institute, or NARFI.

 

EXPLANATION:                  This institute will enable Montana State University – Northern to scan for ideas, innovations, and changes across a variety of disciplines and create mechanisms for the university to translate these new elements into teaching, regional services, and applied research and scholarship.

 

                                                As technology and human information systems are rapidly changing and converging, many opportunities previously unrealized are emerging around the world. Rural places have unprecedented access to information and the possibility to transform traditional ways of doing business, governance, teaching and learning, and community practices. NARFI will provide a single point of access from which to focus on change and opportunity for rural Montana and elsewhere.

 

                                                A $500,000 request for federal appropriation as seed funding is being sent before The United States Congress by Montana Senators Max Baucus and Conrad Burns. Additional sources of funding are presently being sought by The National Science Foundation and The Murdoch Foundation for specific NARFI projects, while sustainable sources of funding is developed.

 

                                                This institute has been recommended by Chancellor Alex Capdeville, two of the four college deans (meetings pending), and many of the key leaders of the Havre and Hill county area.

 

                                                For more information, see the attached proposal from Jonathon Richter, Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers to use Technology grant coordinator at Montana State University – Northern.